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Hertfordshire Publicans Honoured With Awards For Community Contribution

The publicans of an historic Hertfordshire pub have been honoured with a prestigious award to celebrate more than 30 years’ service at the helm of the much-loved local.

Graham and Brenda Dovey of the Grade II listed Goat Inn in Codicote were presented with their long service award by the building’s owners, Star Pubs & Bars, in recognition of their contribution to the pub and the community during the last three decades. The award is the second received by the couple in recent months, having also been given a Community Pub of the Year award by North Hertfordshire Campaign for Real Ale.

The Doveys took over The Goat Inn in 1992, transforming it from a rundown local into a great quality family friendly pub and the heart of village life. A hub of Codicote, The Goat Inn holds regular activities such as quizzes and cribbage to bring people together. It helps the village mark major events – from the World Cup to the Coronation – as well as local traditions like Codicote Village Day, and a harvest festival service in aid of the church’s maintenance fund. Whenever possible, the pub fundraises for good causes, raising more than £20,000 for Hertfordshire charities, including the Isabel Hospice, since the Doveys took the helm.

Graham and Brenda fell into taking over The Goat Inn by chance. Having just sold a glass fibre business in 1990, the couple – who were keen pubgoers – decided to try their hand at running a pub in Kings Langley for a year. Recalls Graham: “While we were there a friend told us The Goat Inn was available, so we went to take a look. We fell in love with it, and the rest is history. We never thought we’d be here this long but we’re still having fun. We feel very lucky to have found The Goat Inn –- it’s the people who make a pub, and Codicote is a wonderfully friendly village.

Says Star Pubs & Bars’ area manager Dan Hayward: “It’s an enormous honour to present this award. The Goat Inn is a truly superb pub, and it’s all down to Graham and Brenda’s hard work and dedication over three decades. They are passionate about creating a great pub for the village to enjoy and contributing to local life in any way they can. There’s always a warm welcome at The Goat Inn, and there’s something for everyone.”